Memphis continues its stronghold on Wolves with 100-87 victory
The more things change
The new-look Timberwolves hosted old-school Memphis Sunday at Target Center, their three-game post-Butler winning streak on the line.
And it was the same old story.
The clutch-and-grab, bump-and-grind Grizzles forced the Wolves to play at their pace, shut down the Wolves in the half-court and won, 100-87.
No surprise, really. The Grizzlies have been doing this to the Wolves, in different incarnations, for years now. Memphis (10-5) has won 26 of 34 games vs. Minnesota over the last decade or so.
Up four at halftime, the Grizz pushed the lead to 13 after three quarters and cruised to victory.
The Wolves were held to 31-for-79 shooting (39.2 percent) while losing for just the second time at home this season (7-2).
Derrick Rose came off the bench to score 18 for the Wolves. Karl-Anthony Towns had 15 points and 20 rebounds. Robert Covington scored 15 and Dario Saric scored 14.
The Grizzlies got 18 points and nine assists from Mike Conley and a whopping 26 points and 13 rebounds from center Marc Gasol, who hit three big three-pointers in his 11-point fourth quarter. Jaren Jackson added 13.
Up just four at halftime, the Grizzlies pushed that to 75-62 entering the fourth, with Jackson Jr. (seven points) and Gasol (seven) leading the way. And, given the Memphis defense, that was a daunting deficit.
Still, down 15 early in the fourth quarter, Covington hit a three, then Tyus Jones scored. After a Memphis free throw Saric hit an elbow three with 7:43 left in the game drawing the Wolves within 78-70 and forcing a Grizzlies time out.
But the Wolves couldnt get closer because they couldnt get stops. Gasol hit two threes out of the time out, and another just inside 5 minutes as the Grizzlies kept Minnesota at arms length.
The Wolves (7-10) finish their five-game homestand Wednesday against Denver.